Malaysia: Islamic cleric declares "Islam is a moderate, soft religion"

*  Softer than toilet paper:  “Islam is a moderate, soft religion,”  Yep, (wouldn’t know what’s more moderate than that) and therefore we need to introduce sharia so we can moderately stone adulterers, flog people in public for drinking alcohol and cut off hands for stealing.

Malaysia Islamist party pushes for sharia penalties

By Niluksi Koswanage/Reuters

KAMPUNG PULAU MELAKA, Malaysia (Reuters) – A leader of Malaysia’s Islamist party, which made surprising gains in March elections, wants its secular allies to apply strict sharia law, which include amputations and stonings for Muslims.

Stoning in Iran

The hardline Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS) has enacted such laws in its Kelantan stronghold to punish rapists and adulterers with stoning to death, while thieves would lose their limbs.

However, the country’s Federal government has barred PAS from enforcing the laws.

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PAS and other opposition parties wrested control of five of Malaysia’s 13 states in the March election as voters punished the ruling coalition for concerns ranging from rising crime to racial tensions.

But analysts have said it would be tough for PAS to broaden its appeal due to its advocacy of the punishments called for by strict Muslim religious law, known as sharia or hudud, which scare off non-Muslims who see the party as a fundamentalist clique.

“Islam is a moderate, soft religion,” PAS spiritual leader Nik Aziz Nik Mat told Reuters late last week in the northeastern state of Kelantan, the party’s stronghold for the past 18 years.

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“We took small steps to introduce Islam as a way of life in Kelantan. We would like to do the same in the other states that have fallen to the opposition.”

Half of Malaysia’s 26 million people are ethnic Malays, who by definition are Muslims. Ethnic Chinese and Indians, the largest two minority groups, are either Hindus, Buddhists or Christians.

Hudud laws, which relate to many aspects of behaviour, would not apply to non-Muslims.

Nik Aziz, also chief minister of Kelantan, said he had asked leaders of the opposition-held states to come together to discuss implementing hudud law.

“But we don’t want to force or pressurise people, we want to discuss. We can surely come to a compromise,” he said.

The use of hudud punishments has long been a stumbling block in PAS’s bid to form a formal pact with other main opposition parties, which include a mainly ethnic Chinese party and a multiracial secular one.

Other opposition leaders say an Islamic platform would not hold appeal in this modern, multi-ethnic country.

“We compliment PAS for being willing to consult,” Tian Chua, spokesman of the opposition People’s Justice Party, said in response to Nik Aziz’s invitation to discussion.

“But our position, as it stands, is actually clear. We will not recommend any implementation of hudud.”

The opposition pulled off its biggest win ever during the recent election, depriving the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition of its two-thirds parliamentary majority and gaining control of five states.


Indonesia: More laws necessary, says Sharia official in Aceh

An official in-charge of Sharia law in Aceh calls for more laws to punish crimes after a mob attempted to carry out a Sharia-style punishment by amputating the hand of a thief. 
Jakarta, 16 June (AKI) – More Sharia or Islamic laws are needed to guide the people in the Indonesian province of Aceh, according to Dhiauddin, an official in-charge of Sharia law in the province.  

Dhiauddin made the remarks to Adnkronos International (AKI) in response to an attempt by a group of residents in a North Aceh village to cut off the hand of an alleged thief on Saturday. 

This was the first time an attempt was made to carry out a Sharia-style punishment of this kind in the province. 

“What we need is more Sharia laws,” said Dhiauddin, the deputy director of Dinas Sharia Islam Banda Aceh, the official that is in-charge of proclaiming Islamic laws. 

Aceh is the only province in Indonesia that has the right to apply Sharia law beyond matters pertaining to marriage, divorce and inheritance.

However cutting off the hand of thief, is not listed as a punishment in Aceh. 

This despite the fact that Dhiauddin’s office made a proposal for such a law back in December 2006. 

“The people’s reaction derived from the lack of precise laws on how to punish certain crimes,” Dhiauddin told AKI. 

However Dhiauddin stressed that the mob that was behind the attempt to cut off the thief’s hands, should be judged according to secular law. 

According to a report on the Jakarta Post newspaper the alleged thief, Saidan, 50, was rushed to the hospital after he was accused by locals of having stolen cattle. They reportedly beat him up before trying to sever his left hand. 

The chief of North Aceh police, Zulkifli, told the newspaper that the alleged thief should have instead been handed over to the police. 

There is no additional information about the arrest.

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